Apple ‘a year ahead’ with Retina MacBook: analyst

Karen Haslam
18 June, 2012
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It will take Apple’s competition in the laptop space a whole year before they can catch up with Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina display, according to industry analysts.

Forrester analyst Frank Gillet said: “It will likely take rivals a year or two to catch up. Anybody can go buy the processors from Intel, but even the track pads from these companies can’t match Apple. Apple has more discipline and control over every aspect of these machines, so it’s tough for the other guys, the Windows guys, to compete.

“The only thing that you could argue against the MacBook Pro with Retina display is that it’s heavy compared to an ultrabook, at about four and a half pounds,” Gillet told Wired.

“But it isn’t an ultrabook. The MacBook competes with ultrabooks, but there isn’t an ultrabook on the market that fully matches the Air right now,” he said.

According to Gillet the only truly comparable computer to the new MacBook Pro with Retina display is Apple’s own iMac.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi also thinks that the MacBook Pro with Retina display is in a league of its own. She told Wired: “There really is nothing out there like the MacBook Pro Retina yet. Apple raised the bar.”

She also agreed that the MacBook Pro offers desktop-like power, saying: “On the inside, the MacBook Pro with Retina display, along with its non-retina counterparts, offers desktop-replacement-level power.”

Milanesi noted that Apple’s competition will compete on price; their strategy being to undercut Apple on price in the shrinking PC market. However, despite the high price of the MacBook Pro with Retina display, Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin believes the new, thinner MacBook Pro will be a hit.

“It’s a sexy machine. Any self-respecting gadget lover is going to be drooling over this thing,” he told Business Week.

Current Analysis’ Avi Greengart noted that the launch of the high-resolution Mac laptop demonstrates that Apple “still cares about the Mac”. He referred to the “crazy resolution” screen when speaking to Sci Tech Today.

Gartner analyst Van Baker noted that the new Retina display beings uniformity between Apple’s laptops and iOS devices. He told Venture Beat:

“Bringing uniformity across platforms is just wonderful. Now you can look at apps on the smaller devices and then again on the laptop. It’s little things like that, a bunch of little things that are delightful little features that collectively make for a much better experience.”

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote: “There are plenty of new products and updates for both developers and consumers to get excited about.”

But not every analyst was excited about the update. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdery called the updates a “nice refresh, but no breakthroughs”, according to Contra Costa Times. He complained: “Is this the best we can get from Apple, post-Steve Jobs?”

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